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Thermohaline – Maelstrom

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 02 April 2021, 8:24 AM

From their Bandcamp page, “Begot under the banner of the "Order Ov The Black Arts", THERMOHALINE now presents their debut full length. "Maelström" presents six tracks of pure nautical dementia, crossing seas of aesthetic debacle, in a genre defying oceanic storm which will undoubtedly hastily bedazzle even the most experienced sailor.” The album contains six tracks.

“Obra Dinn” is the opening track. Clean, jovial guitar notes lead off the song, with the sounds of a ship gently swaying in the ocean. When the vocal screams come in, it’s a full-on attack of Black Metal, with full guitars and pummeling drums. It settles into a harrowing affair, with low guitar tones and some ambient passages. Some vocal chants also come in, then it’s back to a heavy ending. “Adamastor” begins with razor sharp guitar riffs, low and steady. Some electronica comes in before the vocals. Chaos ensues. The drums are as fast as a hummingbird’s wings. It then takes a turn, with most instruments dropping off, and voices in your head, driving you mad. It returns with a vigor. Some clean vocals come in towards the end, but the obliterating drums drown out much of the sound.

“Sirens” opens with clean, melancholy guitars done in two parts, with some lead notes over top the rhythm. Clean vocals are first, along with some strings. The main riff enters…it’s slow and powerful. This is a strange, dissonant song, and it definitely feels that you have wandered onto the island of sirens, whose screams can drive you insane. “Shipwrecked” is just under eleven-minutes in length. The vocals are shouted at first, echoing in the valley of odd chord progressions from the guitars and thunderous drumming. Towards the end, lead guitars take over, and I feel shipwrecked from the bevy of sounds in this track.

“Dark Corners of the Ocean” begins with a man begging “no, please.” The main guitar riff and vocals are heavy, dark, and low. Then, thunderous drumming ushers in some vocal screams. Again, the chord progressions are very unusual, as is the band’s use of a whole lot of various instruments. “Paardenmarkt” closes the album. It begins with fast moving guitars and drums, along with some melody from the leads. They also create depressing tones. Around the half-way mark, the sound drops to some wind chimes and background ambiance. Foul voices fill the air, and you suddenly feel confused about where you are. It ends with howling winds and odd shouts.

This was a fascinating album in many aspects. It’s Black Metal, but the sheer volume of other instruments the band brings to the table is what keeps your interest. Each song is different than the rest, which isn’t often the case in this genre. They experiment, and create something totally unique. It’s hard to find their core vision, but I suppose that is just a part of the journey that the album takes you on. I don’t think you are going to find something like this out there, so enjoy it, because it will consume you.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Obra Dinn
2. Adamastor
3. Sirens
4. Shipwrecked
5. Dark Corners of the Ocean
6. Paardenmarkt
Lennart Janssen – Vocals, Multiple Instruments, Programming
Nuno Lourenço – Vocals, Multiple Instruments, Programming
Ignacio Elias Rosner - Drums
Record Label: Onism Productions


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